How Interveners Contribute to Services for People who are DeafBlind

There are a variety of supports available to people who are DeafBlind. Yesterday, the Sign Shares’ blog discussed the difference between DeafBlind Interpreters and Support Service Providers, or SSPs.

According to the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting, there are three support roles for people who are DeafBlind.

  • DeafBlind Interpreter
  • Support Service Provider (SSP)
  • Interveners

While a DeafBlind Interpreter supports formal communication situations, and SSPs may assist with informal situations, guiding, and transportation, Interveners help educate individuals who are DeafBlind in ways that enhance their independence.

According to the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting, Interveners often work with students who are DeafBlind, but can also work with children and adults in their homes and communities. These individuals need the one-to-one support of a trained, consistent professional who understands and is prepared to address the needs of the student.

Two people use tactile sign language
Interveners and DeafBlind Interpreters may work together in educational settings, with the Intervener focusing more on meeting individualized educational plan goals. photo credit: Communication via photopin (license)

Interveners team with school staff, family, and community providers to achieve individual goals for the person who is DeafBlind, according to the task force. They are gaining recognition as a service for individuals who are DeafBlind to have access to education under the IDEA, the law that guarantees equal access to education, and within their home and community,

According to the task force, “an Intervener provides a bridge to the world for the student who is DeafBlind” by facilitating access to the environmental information that is usually gained through vision and hearing, such as:

  • gathering information,
  • learning concepts and skills,
  • developing communication and language, and
  • establishing relationships that lead to greater independence.

Qualified Interveners have completed training and credentialed through the National Resource Center for Paraeducators (NRCPara) and may work together with school districts on the student’s Individualized Education Plan, according to the task force.

According to What’s My Role? A Comparison of the Responsibilities of Interpreters, Interveners, and Support Service Providers, the Intervene:

  • “acts in a manner that is governed by the local education agency and federal education laws,”
  • “uses the Individual Education Program as a road map for learning,” and
  • “is considered a paraprofessional and works with, but does not replace, the teacher.”

You can learn more about Interveners at the National Center on Deaf-Blindness and at http://intervener.org/.

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